Friday, January 7, 2011

Ordering Plants for Spring

Berries and Potatoes. They're staples in any garden, and today was the day I chose to sit inside, mull over catalogues and make my final decisions about Strawberries, Raspberries and Potatoes. This was no mean feat, as I've been researching varieties for weeks and it seems like whenever I found a variety I liked, I'd always find an excuse to research further until finding another variety I liked. Pah. I was getting ridiculous, so I decided today was the day!

I ordered Taylor red raspberries, which will be my first summer fruiting red. In the past I've grown everbearing raspberries such as Heritage, but I know some people that rave over the taste of the summer fruiting berries so I decided to give it a try, especially since I'm hoping to make preserves this year.

In addition to the Taylors, I also bought a few Anne yellow raspberres, which are everbearers. The yellows have a lower acid and are very sweet and delicious for eating straight off the bush. I grew some a few years ago and loved them dearly, but lost them to a hard freeze while they were being transported between moves.

I'm pretty sure my husband made a decree of "No More Strawberry Purchases" last year, but I'm hoping that was only a 2010 decree and that it doesn't hold through 2011. I purchased bareroot Mara Des Bois strawberries as well (Frageria x ananasa) today. All of the berry purchases were made from Nourse Farms, which (after last year's experience) I'm pretty sure is the best nursery I've ever bought from. Their bareroots are healthy and very long rooted, with strong crowns and good dormancy.

In addition to the berry purchases, I also went a little potato crazy.
Here are some borrowed stock photos below for a potatoey preview of what I have ordered and intend to grow this year. I'll be growing them in straw, possibly tossing an eye or two into soil to compare growth. These are all certified organic seed potatoes (but for the peruvian purple) from Maine Potato Lady where I found them for very reasonable prices.

Mountain Rose - 2.5lb

Adirondack Blue - 2.5lb

Rose Finn Apple (Fingerling) - 1lb

Peruvian Purple (Fingerling) - 1lb

Banana (Fingerling) - 1lb

I figured since I'm not planning to take potatoes to market (unless we have a crazy growing season which I doubt) this year I'll try an assortment to figure out which types I prefer. Next year I may hone in on one or two varieties to grow in larger quantities.

I still haven't decided if I should grow these en masse or attempt to construct different containers for each. As I'm growing them in straw, I will be planting them in vertical-type containers (chicken wire/pallets/not sure yet) rather than in rows. It seems like if I grew them all together it wouldn't matter much since they're all pretty radically different varieties. Of course, I say this now... several months down the road I may be kicking myself because the peruvian purples turned out roundish and looking like adirondacks or the bananas have a rose tint to them. ... Right, I've made up my mind. Separately planted.


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